Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Superstition ain't the way

As I write this, Game 3 of the World Series between the Detroit Tigers and St. Louis Cardinals is in a rain delay - which is slightly annoying because a) I've now eaten most of the food I saved until game time, and b) I'll now be staying up quite late to see this thing through. On the bright side, however, I'll get to type out this post I meant to write this afternoon.

Obviously, I'm enjoying the hell out of the fact that my Tigers are in this World Series. This is even sweeter than championship runs by the Pistons and Red Wings, because those teams were expected to win the title. The regular season and playoff runs felt like exercises in delayed gratification. But what the Tigers are doing has been fabulously unexpected. Almost every game, I shook my head in disbelief that I was watching a good baseball team again, after a decade-and-a-half absence in Detroit.

And it's all gone by so fast because I've wanted to savor every moment. Before the season started, I picked them to win 85 games and finish third in their division. And that seemed optimistic at the time.

After last night's 5-0 loss to the Cardinals, I'm beginning to feel the twinge of anxiety that makes watching sports both fun and exhausting. My stomach is clenching in fear because my team - behind two games to one in the series - looks like it could possibly lose this thing. And that's brought out my superstitious side. Big-time.

So I spent a good chunk of the day remembering the things I did Sunday night, when the Tigers won. And I have to repeat those things. Because even though it's silly to think that any of these things could've influenced a baseball team playing 500 miles away from me, I've convinced myself that they matter. Because when I did these things, the Tigers won. And when I didn't - such as last night - the Tigers lost.

♦ I have to wear my Pudge Rodriguez t-shirt for every remaining game of this World Series. Will I wash it before every game? Probably not. Is this why I often watch sporting events alone? Probably.

♦ I have to eat a caramel apple - with nuts - before the game. I'm not sure if the brand matters. I guess we'll find out. The one I ate on Sunday was from Whole Foods. This one isn't. Oh, no.

♦ Also before the game, I must rock out to Journey. That wasn't a conscious choice on Sunday. But "Don't Stop Believin'" (seriously) was the song that came up on my iPod when I hit "shuffle." Surely, dancing a little bit and playing some air guitar wouldn't hurt matters.

♦ I have to drink two beers - Stella Artois, to be specific - during the game. Last night, I drank Diet Pepsi and water.

♦ I have to watch the game in the living room, sitting in my dad's old La-Z-Boy, wearing my old, ratty black sweatpants. Not in my bedroom, where I was curled up in my blankie like a woman watching movies that might make her cry.

♦ Oh, and I can't wear socks either. Socks made me too warm and comfortable last night. Sunday night, I was chilly with ice cold toes. But I was awake - wide awake - and paying very close attention to the game, instead of inching toward a toasty slumber.

♦ I have to call Lil' Sis, Mis Hooz, and my buddy Eric during the game. From my cell phone. And we have to talk about the baseball game, not just ask each other how our days went, what we had for dinner, etc. If we can make fun of whomever's singing the National Anthem, that'd be even better.

And I'm sure as hell hoping that typing out a blog entry before the game - which I don't believe I did on Sunday, unless I was working on something for the next day - won't adversely affect my Tigers' chances of winning.

Am I a mess? Well, none of this sounds rational, does it? But it'll all be worth it if the Tigers win. And even if they don't - hey, I got a post out of this anxiety. (I'll just make sure any prospective future Mrs. Casselberrys never read this.)

Okay, it's 9:30 p.m. EST. When the #@$% are they planning on playing this thing?

P.S. (11 p.m.) I'm not sure what was more infuriating tonight: The two-hour rain delay that eventually led to the game's postponement or Blogger being down during that timeframe. You know, I could've gone to the movies. There are a few I'd like to catch before they leave Ann Arbor on Thursday.